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MS: teens pirate less often if aware of laws

updated 09:35 am EST, Wed February 13, 2008

MS Study on Teen Piracy

Most teenagers pirate music, software, or videos only because they are unaware of the law, Microsoft claims through the results of a new study published today. The Zune maker observes that nearly half of younger teens, or 49 percent, are not aware of copyright laws online, while less than 10 percent feel they know the laws well. This knowledge has a major impact on whether or not they consider bootleg downloads worthy of punishment, Microsoft claims: while 57 percent said illegal downloading demanded punishment, this number climbed dramatically to 82 percent when they were more clearly aware of the laws.

Clarity over the law became less ambiguous when compared to physical theft, the study reportedly shows. While only 48 percent of the teens studied thought illegal downloads merited punishment, that figure jumped to 90 percent when discussing punishment for a stolen bicycle.

Microsoft also states that most teens depend heavily on their parents for information about rules online and that most (76 percent of boys, 68 percent of girls) would stop illegal downloading if aware of the rules or given explicit permission. Most are encouraged to pirate content partly through their limited budgets as well as pressure from friends.

As a result of the study, Microsoft says it has launched a new website known as MYBYTES to promote "Intellectual Property Rights Education:" the company encourages teens to create and share music ringtones but also assign their own rights to each track. While this ranges from free and unrestricted to pay-only downloads that cannot be used as part of others' ringtones, the move is meant to clarify the "gray areas" of IP law for a younger audience, according to the company.

The study and launch mirror Microsoft's dual approaches to copy protection in recent years. While the company is often cited as one of the parents of modern digital rights management (DRM) with the limits imposed by its Windows Media and Zune Marketplace formats, the company has recently encouraged DRM-free sales of MP3s through the Zune store and encourages the use of unprotected formats on its Zune portable players.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    silly!

    " Microsoft claims: while 57 percent said illegal downloading demanded punishment, this number climbed dramatically to 82 percent when they were more clearly aware of the laws."

    Demanded punishment? What, exactly, does that mean? Did they respond positively to the statement, 'there should be consequences for illegal downloading', and MS interpreted that as, 'demanded punishment'?

    Furthermore, did these teens actually stop pirating music? I doubt it.

    "Clarity over the law became less ambiguous when compared to physical theft, the study reportedly shows. While only 48 percent of the teens studied thought illegal downloads merited punishment, that figure jumped to 90 percent when discussing punishment for a stolen bicycle."

    Of course. Duh. Most people - adults as well as teens - perceive a difference between actual, physical goods and intellectual property. The law treats intellectual property different from physical property; after all, the brushmaker has no right to claim a royalty from the paintings a painter makes using their brush. Why is it any surprise that people perceive 'stealing' music as being different than stealing a bicycle? The two are not necessarily the same thing and conflating the two is just more flim-flammery.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    more on 'stealing' music

    If I take a bicycle from someone else without their permission and without paying for it, I have unjustly and unfairly deprived that person of its use.

    If, on the other hand, I take a music file which someone else paid for, copy it and then give it to a friend, I haven't deprived anyone of its use. The person who originally bought it can still listen to it. I *may* have deprived the band and its music label (and its agent and its sycophants and drug dealers) of a small bit of income. Or, not. What if I would not have bought the song anyway if I had to pay for it?

    Is it 'stealing' music if I record a Sirius music channel I like a lot, burn it to a CD and listen to it later? That's probably fair use... but what if I give a friend a copy of that CD? Now is that 'stealing'?

    This comparison of music piracy to stealing a bicycle is just more RIAA horseshit. If it were that cut and dried, there would be no RIAA because there would be no royalties associated with intellectual property.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    0

    @climacs

    "Or, not. What if I would not have bought the song anyway if I had to pay for it?"

    this is precisely why I never listen when companies say they have lost $X amount to piracy. Just because someone downloads something, does not in any way mean they would have been willing to pay for it.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: climacs

    Is it 'stealing' music if I record a Sirius music channel I like a lot, burn it to a CD and listen to it later? That's probably fair use... but what if I give a friend a copy of that CD? Now is that 'stealing'?

    Yes and yes. Well, according to the purely objective RIAA.

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    0

    until you create artwork

    People think that intellectual property has no value until they create their own. Then they want the toughest copyright protection possible. Instead of stealing (it is stealing because that is what the law says), create your own works and give them away for free - that is a much more positive way to contribute to free culture. That is what I do.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    copyright laws...

    ...here's the snag_

    Working at kinko's for several years way in the past and also being a Grpahic Designer - I've have to keep up with the bulk of copyright laws to cover my own a** as if I messed up and someone pointed a finger at me I'd be in trouble not Kinko's_

    Had this one customer come in to make color copies of a copyrighted local comic strip by another employee of kinko's_ There was a release waiver that "by law" allowed this random person to make 1 color copy per calendar day of this comic strip_ I knew he shouldn't be doing it - the employee that made the strip knew he shouldn't be doing it - BUT the law clearly stated that he was within his rights to have it copied_

    If he had had 2 copies of the original made tthen he would legally be infringing on the copyright and could be held liable_

    As you can guess - it irritated me somewhat but it probably burned the employee who owned the strip_

    Now this applied to printed material - and am not sure what the specifics are for music and whatnot_

    But at the same time - music and video copyrights typically have some statement regarding penalty of copyinng material for profit without prior written consent of the owner_

    Now if these kids aren't making moeny off of it - then they are probably within the constraints of the law_

    Unless the copyright says under no circumstances on a cold day in h*** are you to copy this CD or DVD otherwise penalty of death and torture may ensue_

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    -1

    don't steal from stores

    I think it is funny that people don't go to the book store and steal a book or CD but they would steal stuff on the Internet. This is because people think the Internet is anonymous and that they will never get caught.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    0

    which is it

    "I *may* have deprived the band and its music label (and its agent and its sycophants and drug dealers) of a small bit of income. Or, not."

    May have?

    "What if I would not have bought the song anyway if I had to pay for it? "

    Why do you have it if you don't want it legally? If you want it pay for it otherwise don't have it.

    More RIAA bs? Why, because you think there's different definitions of theft? You have your own rules to go by and they, idiots that they are, aren't coming around to your way of thinking?

    This argument that just because someone downloads something doesn't mean they would have bought it isn't flying. CD sales are clear proof of that. If they couldn't loot then CD sales would not have fallen so drastically in the last few years.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    i guess bhuot can't read

    did you not read my earlier comments? I'll summarize for you. There is a difference between intellectual property and physical property. Why is it a surprise that people regard stealing physical things as being different than 'stealing' intellectual property?

    Stealing an actual physical CD != 'stealing' music by making a digital copy of a digital copy

  1. gskibum3

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006

    0

    Climacs

    Rationalize away your theft all you want. The method of distribution of intellectual property doesn't change the fact that it is theft if you use when you didn't purchase it. The creator does deserve to be compensated when you use the works they create.

    You don't want to pay for it - don't use it. It's that simple.

    You need to take a look at Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution by the way. The Founding Fathers disagree with you and your criminal ilk. They believed strongly enough of intellectual property to protect it in the U.S. Constitution.

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